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A dissertation submitted to the
University of Plymouth in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of
BSc (Hons.) Maritime Business and Maritime Logistics
International Shipping and Logistics Group
Plymouth Business School
Module: MAR328
Submitted by: Patrick Onyedikachi Stephen
Student number: 10477440
Supervisor: David Adkins
Date: March 2017
Table of Contents
list of abbreviations.. iii
Table of Contents.. iv
List OF FIGURES.. vii
1      INTRODUCTION 693. 8
1.1       Introduction and research background.. 8
1.2       Aim and Objectives. 10
1.2.1   Aim… 10
1.2.2   Objectives. 10
2.1       Oil Piracy in Nigeria. 11
2.2       Social Impacts of Oil Spills. 11
2.3       Conceptual Framework of the Study. 12
3      METHODOLOGY 685. 13
3.1       Research Philosophy. 13
3.2       Research Approach. 13
3.3       Methodological Choice. 13
3.4       Research Strategies and Time Horizon. 14
3.5       Techniques and Procedures. 14
4      Gantt chart 103. 15
5      REFERENCES.. 16
6      AppendiX.. 19
6.1       Questionnaire. 19

Table 4‑1. 13

1.1      Introduction and research background
Oil is the most important component of a nation’s economy. It is considered as a crucial commodity of the world. Smil (2008) defined oil as the lifeline of modern system and considered oil as the propeller of globalization, transport and definer of the social, economic and political systems of the globe. As an important resource of the world Yergin (2008), oil is the fundamental source economic structure of numerous nations that are highly dependent on oil.  As a nation, dependent on oil, Nigeria is highly dependent on oil for its sustenance and survival. Dependent on the exploration and export of crude oil, Nigerian economy and its development is based on its natural resource (Okere, 2013). While majority (90%) of Nigeria’s exports is, crude oil based, Nigerian economy thrives on the foreign exchange reserves and revenue from crude oil (Ekuerhare, 2002). This invariably links the community development and social developments programs across Nigeria to the production and exploration of oil Wilson (2012). As an oil-based economy, Nigeria has the capacity to rise itself as one of the developed nations of the globe. However, illegal activities such as vandalism and piracy have resulted in the theft of large quantities of oil on a daily basis, draining the nation of its futuristic prosperity (Adeboboye, 2013).
According to studies conducted by Olusola (2013) and Okere (2013), theft of oil through vandalism results in the loss of nearly 300,000 barrels of crude oil per day. The Nigerian economy faces emergency and the malady of oil theft in Nigeria has resulted in loss of nearly U.S. 1.7-billion petrodollars per month (Dalby, 2014). While vandalism has affected the roots of the Nigerian economy, oil piracy has attacked the social image of the nation. Maritime Insurgence Act of 1909 defines pirates as “passengers who mutiny and rioters who attack the ship from the shore” (Merkin, 2010, p. 130). Accordingly, oil piracy can be understood as the attack of a ship by passengers who mutiny or by rioters from the shore. Oil pirates involve themselves in destructive activities such as abduction of people for ransom, theft, vandalism, murder, illegal acquisition of ships and sabotage resulting in the collapse and sinking of the ship resulting in oil pollution (Herbert-Burns et al. 2009).
While the Federal government has played its role in combating the violent pirates (Ugwuanyi, 2013), the violent and militant nature of the pirates has resulted in massive destruction of pipelines and oil facilities (Mernyi, 2014). Undoubtedly, the oil corporations and the Government are affected through the theft and vandalism of oil pirates in Nigeria. However, the plight of the residents in the Niger Delta is ineffable. The villages that were considered as an epitome of West-Africa’s rich culture lie as stinking dumps without any access to electricity and water. The polluted black water has affected communities whose livelihoods were largely dependent on fishing and agricultural. Many residents have migrated to the cities, living in palpable conditions. The nation that has the capacity to become one of the richest producers and exporter of oil is degraded in the hands of a network of thieves whose front runners are the oil pirates of the Niger Delta (Querouil, 2011). Considering this, need exists for rigorous studies in analyzing the threats of oil pollution through oil piracy in the Niger Delta: i) to identify the social impacts of the pollution, and ii) voice the issues and opinions of the residents in a scientific manner through iterative empirical analysis.
1.2      Aim and Objectives
1.2.1     Aim
The aim of this research is to explore the extent of impact of oil pollution in West Africa. Using quantitative approach, the study aims at assessing the extent of impact of oil spill and pollutions caused by piracy in the Niger Delta.
1.2.2     Objectives

To ascertain the level of social impacts of oil pollution through piracy in the Niger Delta from age and gender perspectives
To identify presence of variation and extent of variation in the perception of high social impacts from age and gender perspectives

To identify the primary social impacts that are perceived be high in the Niger Delta from age and gender perspectives


2.1      Oil Piracy in Nigeria
The piracy or burglary of oil, otherwise called illicit bunkering, can be considered as the demonstration of hacking into the channels of pipes to take unrefined oil which later goes through the process of refining and sold to the foreign entities (Ugwuanyi, 2013). This can also be considered as an illegal exchange which includes the piracy or burglary of unrefined petroleum and its subordinate items through an assortment of instruments. A number of experts allude to oil robbery as oil taken from the channels of pipes or stream stations, and also, additional rough oil added to the legal load which is not represented (Asuni, 2009). Along these lines, Obasi (2011) have attested that illicit oil bunkering or oil piracy is widely utilized in the Nigerian scenario in the form of a non-specific term incorporating unapproved stacking of boats as well as every single illegal activity including the robbery, preoccupation, and smuggling activities. The essence of the previous discussion is that the piracy of raw petroleum is an action identifying with the burglary or damage of raw petroleum, offices or establishments as the unlawful bunkering, vandalism regarding the channels of pipes, fuel scooping, illicit refining, and so forth. Illicit bunkering of oil can be considered as the most generally identified type of oil piracy and this includes coordinated oil tapping. In spite of the fact that oil bunkering is a need for sea dispatching sections inside the oceanic part, the aspect turns into an illicit activity when the bunkering is completed without imperative standardized licenses or legitimate archives, or infringing upon the oceanic division of Nigeria.
The burglary or piracy of oil is done at various levels and amounts in Nigeria. The most prevalent strategy for taking the raw petroleum is to cut the channels of pipes passing on the item through different points or locations and tap it when the channel of pipes is punctured or cracked (Adegbite, 2013). One can find out three operational strategies for illicit piracy of oil within Nigeria (Katsouris and Sayne, 2013). The first strategy refers to a minor and little scale stealing of condensate and petroleum items foreordained for neighbourhood markets. The second strategy is to complete a coordinated hacking into the channels of pipes or tapping with a hose-pipe from the top of an oil-well through handy evacuation. The third and final strategy is the abundance lifting of raw petroleum past the authorized sum, utilizing produced bills of filling.
The robbery or piracy of oil Nigeria is currently on a mechanical level associated with an industry and includes item brokers, global crooks and an entire system of individuals (Vidal, 2013).The exercises of oil burglary in the form of an industry are plainly the parts of an organized association. Experts have referred to various substantial global syndicates required in these operations and it additionally assists the tax evasion as well as the laundering of the cash for numerous entities across the world (Katsouris and Sayne, 2013). While the young people in Nigeria may deal with the nearby tapping and stacking at a localized level, the Eastern European, Russian, Austrailian, Lebanese, Dutch, and French entities assume parts in providing financial support, transportation, and laundering the cash related to the piracy of oil. By and by, the piracy of oil in Nigeria includes and engages a convoluted and critical system of the connections crossing every level of the general public including the differing connections in a diversified manner. These connections are asserted to incorporate closely associated individuals within and outside governmental authorities, oil organizations businesspeople, resigned and currently acting army personnel, and militant activists (Ayanruoh, 2013).
2.2      Social Impacts of Oil Spills(more content to be added)
In accordance with the framework suggested by Okonkwo (2014), the social-impacts mainly include identified prostitution and rape hardship, impact on traditional institutions of authority and cultural values, conflicts, destruction of cultural areas and spirituality, community destruction, forced displacements, migration and environmental refugees and oil facility vandalism, kidnapping, militancy and terrorism as social impacts of oil spills in Nigeria. Each of these aspects will be discussed in brief.
Given the hardships caused by the oil spills, many residents, especially women are forced into prostitution to support their respective families and educate their children. The aggressive nature of the pirates also results in rape of these prostitutes and women in general (Okonkwo, 2014) which has resulted in the prevalence of ‘rape culture’, evident in the history of piracy (Guardian, 2008) and degradation of women in the society.  Nigerian culture has its roots embedded in a very ancient civilization. Elders and chief are considered as heads of communities and are vested with the authority to protect the region from external and internal threats. However, when oil spills occur, it has been observed that elders of the communities’ strike deals with the oil corporations or the groups involved in illegal activities. They have been invariably corrupted by the oil corporations (Osaghae et al. 2007). A vested interest and individualistic motivation towards monetary benefits is observed, which has affected their reputation as champions of the natives.
2.3      Conceptual Framework of the Study
 Figure 1: Conceptual framework of the current study
A number of studies have identified several aspect of determinants of oil piracy as well as the variables which lead to an significant impact on the socio-economic dimension. However, there are a few aspects or factors which have been predominantly pointed out by several researchers as the most important variables. Along these lines, the variables of the current study are: prostitution and rape, traditional institutions and cultural values, conflicts, spirituality and cultural areas, displacement and migration and militancy. The extent of impact of oil theft and bunkering on the social stratum of the society in the Niger Delta will be assessed in the current study, since the current study has its fundamentals in assessing the social impacts of oil pollution through piracy. Accordingly, the study is delimited towards the social impacts identified by Okonkwo (2014).
3.1      Research Philosophy
The philosophical assumption of the current study lies in the theory of positivism. Since the main objective of the study is to establish the causal relationship between oil pollution through piracy and social impacts in the Niger Delta, positivism is the apt philosophy (Bryman and Bell, 2011; Saunders et al, 2012). In addition, the researcher believes in studying the phenomenon of social impacts of oil pollution from an objective manner (Guba and Lincoln, 1994), thereby establishing the essence of positivist research philosophy.
3.2      Research Approach
The positivist nature of research philosophy upheld the deductive logic, where a theory is construed from the existing literature (social impact of oil pollution through piracy) and subjected to hypothesis testing. The causal relationship between the IVs and the DV was identified through the observation of patterns (Saunders et al, 2012).
3.3      Methodological Choice
With positivism and deductive logic, the methodological choice was mono method (Saunders et al, 2012) and quantitative approach was apt for the study. The quantifiable nature of the quantitative research coupled with its essence to generalise the results (Creswell, 2009), in a cost and time-effective manner, made the researcher choose quantitative research as the methodological choice.
3.4      Research Strategies and Time Horizon
In accordance with the quantitative choice of methodology, survey strategy was the chosen research strategy, where the opinions of the participants constituted as the foundation for analysing the relationship between the variables. Since the study did not focus on conducting a trend analysis or changes in the nature of social impact over a period of time, data was collected at a single point in time. The time horizon of the study was thus cross-sectional in nature (Johnson and Christensen, 2011).
3.5      Techniques and Procedures
Using surveys as the method for collecting primary data, the researcher used the help of the personnel at healthcare centres across Warri South and Burutu local governments to administer 180 surveys to the locals. The sampling frame of 173 was calculated based on the formula n = Z2*p*q/e2 (Kline, 2000), where Z = 1.96 level of confidence, p = 87.5% response rate based on paper by Iloeje et al. (2015) and e= 0.05. After rounding off to 180 surveys, simple random sampling method was used to collect primary data. The questionnaire tool was designed based on the study by Okonkwo (2014) which highlights the impacts of oil pollution. With a focus on social impacts, the questionnaire was divided into two parts. While Part A focused on collecting demographic information such as the age and gender, Part A focused on collecting information regarding the social impacts. The questionnaire and its items are presented in Appendix 6.1.
Part B of the questionnaire will produce data in the ordinal level given the use of Likert scale questions – strongly agree, agree, neutral, disagree and strongly disagree to collect the data. The average for each question for each respondent was calculated which was categorized into high perception =1 and low perception= 0. This data was further categorized into age and gender variables (Part A data collection). The relationship with the categorized data for each question with the overall impact question (Part B, question 1) – high, medium and low was assessed through Spearman’s rank order correlation. This would ensure the achievement of objective 1.
The average values for each category (prostitution and rape, traditional institutions and cultural values, conflicts, spirituality and cultural areas, displacement and migration and militancy) will be calculated. The relationship between each factor and high social impact (average values) will be calculated. The social effect that caused high impact for each of the groups (age and gender) will be calculated through discriminant function analysis (DFA). The difference within the age and gender groups will also assessed through DFA. The degree of variance between the groups towards the perception of high social impact will be assessed. Through this, objective 2 will be achieved.
Objective 3 will be potentially achieved through DFA itself. This objective decided which factor among the six could be considered as high impact factor. The data will be analyzed using SPSS 20.0 version. The analyzed results will be presented in the form of graphs, tables and figures.
4       Gantt chart
The process-flow for completion of the project and tentative time-schedule for completion of each activity involved in the project is outlined in table 4.1.
Table 4‑1
Table representing activities and time-schedule for completion of each activity

Feb Week 3
Feb Week 4
March Week 1
Week 2
March Week 3
March Week 4
April Week 1
April Week 2
April Week 3

Assessment 1 (Prepare conceptual framework)

Questionnaire preparation

Conduct surveys

Conduct interviews

Literature review draft

Methodology draft

Data analysis draft

Results draft

Introduction draft

Conclusion draft

Draft (editing 1)

Final draft

Adegbite, I. ( 2013) ‘Climate Change, Perennial Crude Oil Theft and the Quest for Sustainable Development in Nigeria’, OIDA International Journal of Sustainable Development, vol.6, no.12, pp. 33-40.
Asuni, J. (2009) Blood Oil in the Niger Delta. Available at: https://www.usip.org/sites/default/files/blood_oil_nigerdelta.pdf (Accessed: 6 March 2017).
Bryman, A., and Bell, E. (2011) Business research methods. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Creswell, J. W. (2009) Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. Los Angeles: Sage Publications.
Guardian (2011) A Somali pirate with historical leanings might scoff at the outrage, The Guardian, [online] p. 1. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/sep/18/nhs-records-system-10bn [Retrieved 19 Feb, 2017].
Guba, E.G. and Lincoln, Y.S. (1994) Competing paradigms in qualitative research, in Denzin and Y.S. Lincoln, (eds.) Handbook of Qualitative Research (pp, 105-117). Thousand Oaks: Sage.
Herbert-Burns, R., Bateman, S. and Lehr, P. (eds.) (2009) Lloyd’s MIU Handbook of Maritime Security. Boca Raton, FL: Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
Iloeje, A. F., Nwagbara, A. O. and Chijioke, E.O. (2015) ‘Assessment Of Impact Significance of Oil Spill in the Niger Delta, Nigeria’, International Journal of Development Research, vol.5, no. 3, pp. 3755-3760.
Johnson, B. and Christensen, L. B., (2011) Educational research: Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed approaches. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
Katsouris, C. and Sayne, A. (2013) Nigeria’s Criminal Crude: International Options to Combat the Export of Stolen Oil. London: Chatham House.
Kline, P. (2000) The handbook of psychological testing, 2nd ed. London: Routledge.
Merkin, R. (2010) Marine Insurance Legislation. London: MPG books.
Okonkwo, E. C. (2014) Oil spills in Nigeria: Are there social and economic impacts. International Oil Spill Conference Proceedings, 1, pp. 300289.
Osaghae, E., Ikelegbe, A., Olarinmoye, O., and Okhonmina, S. (2007) Youth Militias, Self Determination and Resource Control Struggles in the Niger-Delta Region of Nigeria. Senegal: Codesria.
Querouil, M. (2011) Nigeria’s Oil Pirates, Available online at: http://www.reportagebygettyimages.com/features/nigeria-oil-pirates/ [Retrieved 15 Feb, 2017]
Saunders, M. N. K., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A. (2012) Research methods for business students. Harlow: Pearson.
Ugwuanyi, E. (2013) Oil theft: Endless search for solution. Available at: http://thenationonlineng.net/oil-theft-endless-search-for-solution/ (Accessed: 6 March 2017).
6       AppendiX
6.1      Questionnaire
Part A

Age: <25 years 25-45 years                           >46 years
Gender: Male Female

Part B
Please review the questions carefully and choose one option.

Could you rate the overall social impact of piracy in the Niger Delta?

Very High                         High               Medium                      Low        Very Low

Do you believe that piracy has resulted in increased oil spills?

Strongly agree          Agree             Neutral           Disagree                    Strongly disagree

Do you believe that the piracy have forced women into prostitution to support their families?

Strongly agree          Agree             Neutral           Disagree                    Strongly disagree

Do you believe that the piracy has increased the percentages of rapes?

Strongly agree          Agree             Neutral           Disagree                    Strongly disagree

Elders and chiefs have been custodians of the Niger Delta. Do you believe that elders are also involved in illegal oil business?

Strongly agree          Agree             Neutral           Disagree                    Strongly disagree

Has your respect towards elders and chiefs engaged in piracy decreased?

Strongly agree          Agree             Neutral           Disagree                    Strongly disagree

Has the involvement of elders and chiefs in piracy made the community members more individualistic or self-oriented instead of community-oriented?

Strongly agree          Agree             Neutral           Disagree                    Strongly disagree

Do you believe that the piracy has increased the conflicts between communities?

Strongly agree          Agree             Neutral           Disagree                    Strongly disagree

Do you believe that the piracy has increased the conflicts between individuals?

Strongly agree          Agree             Neutral           Disagree                    Strongly disagree

Do you believe that the piracy has destroyed the natural ecosystem?

Highly believe   Somewhat believe  Neutral  Somewhat disbelieve              Do not believe at all

Do you believe that the piracy has destroyed sacred areas, shrines and forests which are symbols of spirituality?

Strongly agree          Agree             Neutral           Disagree                    Strongly disagree

Do you believe that the piracy has forced the Niger Deltans to move to cities?

Strongly agree          Agree             Neutral           Disagree                    Strongly disagree

Do you believe that the piracy has made the Niger Deltans homeless?

Strongly agree          Agree             Neutral           Disagree                    Strongly disagree

Do you believe that the piracy has increased terrorism?

Strongly agree          Agree             Neutral           Disagree                    strongly disagree

Do you believe that the piracy has increased frustration among the youth?

Strongly agree          Agree             Neutral           Disagree                    Strongly disagree

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